“Seeing the joy on Elisabeth’s face after her first day of Camp Online was the best. We didn’t know what to expect or if she should be able to make connections virtually – but we had nothing to worry about! Between the dancing and activities, the staff makes the whole experience a complete joy. Plus, Elisabeth is able to have this great fun in a safe and controlled environment.”
Elisabeth is an 8-year-old girl living with Pulmonary Hypertension – a rare type of high blood pressure that affects the arteries in your lungs and the right side of your heart.
Pulmonary Hypertension is a progressive condition – meaning that it tends to get worse over time. There is currently no cure, but with modern advances in medicine, Elisabeth and her family are working to slow down the progression.
Elisabeth has been on oxygen since she was just two years old. “Living on oxygen is pretty tough for a little kid. Other kids are curious and often just stare at her. But she is a strong, resilient little girl. She has never let her condition slow her down,” shared Elisabeth’s mom, Jan.
Due to Elisabeth’s rare condition and the COVID-19 pandemic, the MacDonald family has been isolating even more than other families, in an effort to keep Elisabeth healthy. Camp Online has provided her the opportunity to have those social connections that she is missing out on in-person.
“Elisabeth is such a social butterfly. This year in quarantine has really had an impact on her. She hasn’t been able to see her cousins, friends, or participate in her regular extra-curricular activities. Being able to login to camp has helped her and our entire family get through these long months. She is able to be silly, giggle, dance, and talk to other kids.”
Elisabeth has participated in numerous Roundup River Ranch online programs this year including Summer Camp, Weekend Kids Camp, Day Camp, and most recently… our Camp Clubs!
This winter, Elisabeth joined her camp friends weekly during Holiday Cheer Club and Wood Cookie Club. When asked what her favorite part about Camp Online is, Elisabeth shared, “I love to talk to all of the other kids and staff. It makes me feel like I have a big group of friends and I’m happy to be around other kids my age. I feel like I fit in here. They don’t stare at my oxygen tube and we just get to talk and have fun!”
Through our online programs, campers have access to a consistent connection to camp – something that is imperative to their social and emotional health during a time of intense isolation.
Jan shared that Camp Online was the perfect way to get her family connected to camp. “We’ve known about Roundup River Ranch for a while, but we were a little nervous to send Elisabeth away for a week to in-person camp. So getting the opportunity to join in on the fun online, meet some new friends, and see what the hype is all about has been huge for our family. Now she can’t wait to attend traditional camp – and we’re less nervous about sending her!”
In addition to participating in Camp Online, the MacDonald family joined in on our S’MORE CAMP Challenge this past fall and fundraised nearly $1,000 for camp! “This has been a truly remarkable experience for our family, and we can only imagine the resources and effort it takes to make this all happen. Fundraising seemed like such a great way to help keep all of this going. We love to give back when we can, and we’re thrilled to have a new place to focus our efforts!”
Through the generosity of the communities we serve and our loyal supporters (like you!), Roundup River Ranch is always free of charge to children with serious illnesses and their families.
“Having a child with a medical disability can be very expensive. There often isn’t any extra money in the budget for camps and activities. Roundup River Ranch is so amazing because it is all completely free of charge, meaning no child has to miss out on the joy and fun of camp. Thank you for changing our family’s life! We could not be more grateful.” – Jan, Camper mom